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DAW Track Faders: NO affect on incoming signal?
Old 20th June 2009
  #1
Gear Nut
 

DAW Track Faders: NO affect on incoming signal?

I'm lost in the foothills of a "learning curve".
New Presonus Firestudio Project feeding signal to new DAW (the often maligned SONY Acid Pro 7).

A dynamic microphone is plugged into the Presonus preamp #1:
a) The DAW's track faders seem to have no affect on incoming signal gain.
b) The Presonus software mixer faders seem to have no affect on incoming signal gain.
c) Only the twiddly little knobs on the front of the Presonus unit DO increase and
decrease the volume of the signal coming into the DAW.

QUESTION:
Aren't the DAW's track faders supposed to be able to adjust the volume
of an incoming live signal (mic or instrument) that's being recorded?

I must be missing something...right?
Old 20th June 2009
  #2
no. you have to adjust the signal before going into the AD stage (using the little f&(%($ knobs on the interface or using a fader or attennuator before even going into it.
you can listen to the signal that is recorded the direct out on your converter (no noticable latency no computer cycles etc) if your interface has such a feature. if not the signal that is recorded to the DAW will be bounced back through the converter again with some latency.

so

source -- mic -- preamp -- converter preamp stage + AD + direct out (headphone output or other DA) -- DAW recording + DAW faders

here's a classy higend pack of attenuators (no signal degredation (most inexpensive mixers have some effect on the signal)
REDCLOUD 8810U8ERS BALANCED ATTENUATOR PACK
a simple pot will do the same but less classy and unbalanced

hope that helps heh
Old 20th June 2009
  #3
Gear Nut
 

Reptil ==

Thanks a lot for the Rapid Response. I have follow-up Qs:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Reptil View Post
you can listen to the signal that is recorded via the direct out on your converter (no noticable latency no computer cycles etc) if your interface has such a feature. if not the signal that is recorded to the DAW will be bounced back through the converter again with some latency.
I'm monitoring via the Presonus Firestudio Project (PFP) headphone jack. When I adjust the PFP buffer size upward, say from 256 to 1024, I do hear an increased delay. So apparently I am monitoring through a latency factor...


Quote:
Originally Posted by Reptil View Post
source -- mic -- preamp -- converter preamp stage + AD + direct out (headphone output or other DA) -- DAW recording + DAW faders
Pardon my lack of understanding. Based on your comment, it sounds like the DAW (software) track faders do not apply to recording, and are only for use in MIXING, after the track has been recorded. Is that correct? If so, I'm bummed...


Quote:
Originally Posted by Reptil View Post
here's a classy higend pack of attenuators (no signal degredation (most inexpensive mixers have some effect on the signal) REDCLOUD 8810U8ERS BALANCED ATTENUATOR PACK a simple pot will do the same but less classy and unbalanced
Very nice. But with this PFP, attenuation is the least of my worries (so far). I have to crank the "twiddly little knobs" to the MAX to get a decent signal level on a vocal. I'll keep that item in mind for the future, though.
Old 29th June 2009
  #4
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yikes View Post
Reptil ==

Thanks a lot for the Rapid Response. I have follow-up Qs:
this time a bit more delayed heh


Quote:
Originally Posted by Yikes View Post
I'm monitoring via the Presonus Firestudio Project (PFP) headphone jack. When I adjust the PFP buffer size upward, say from 256 to 1024, I do hear an increased delay. So apparently I am monitoring through a latency factor...
I don't know the Presonus intimately, but it looks to me you're indeed monitoring the DAW loop (in processed and out).
In my RME software there's a little app, feat. a matrix where you can connect the incoming directly to the headphones or any other connection.
I suppose you take a look at the software that came with the Presonus, it has something like that, probably pictured as faders with in and output.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Presonus Blurp
Zero-latency monitoring of recording sources while overdubbing
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yikes View Post
Pardon my lack of understanding. Based on your comment, it sounds like the DAW (software) track faders do not apply to recording,
yes erm no they don't. there's a workaround though, those faders in the app mentioned above for the RME they are MIDI controllable! I.o.w. they can be automated. (also during tracking) I don't know about the Presonus. Again... check... if it has midi, you're golden.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yikes View Post
and are only for use in MIXING, after the track has been recorded.
yes that is their function
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yikes View Post
Is that correct? If so, I'm bummed...
Bummed? not really. the point is to get a clean take recorded. set your input levels accordingly and try not to record too hot! (clipping will ruin your take)
-10 dBu headroom in the DAW should be sufficient to get something nice at 24 bit.

now what you can do with most daws is use "software monitoring" where the audio is routed through the DAW (like you said above), and is affected by a fader on a bus or aux channel (that is being fed from the recording channel, and is outputting to for example Headphones L&R)

that does introduce latency, so better use the "direct out" option on the Presonus with a little seperate mixer for your headphone mixes for the performer that is being recorded. Analogue is nice for this. (uncluttered simple concept as latency free frontend for a DAW)

hope this clears things up (oh and RTFM)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yikes View Post
Very nice. But with this PFP, attenuation is the least of my worries (so far). I have to crank the "twiddly little knobs" to the MAX to get a decent signal level on a vocal. I'll keep that item in mind for the future, though.
check how hot you are recording by checking the files (are these peaking?). Until you've figured out your monitoring and familiarised yourself with it, and callibrated it, then I suggest you don't use it as a reference. (bit like shooting in the dark)

you can't raise the level of a recording with the faders inside a DAW anyway. You can bring the audio to fullest level (highest peak at 0 dB) using faders or normalisation (the same but automated for the whole file), but that is not going to improve the quality (amount of useful material) of your recording. Normalising is general practice, but I'm staying far back from that, since it aslo raises errors in the digital file in the audible range.
My ears tell me it "flattens" the audio.
Old 30th June 2009
  #5
Gear Nut
 

Reptil ==

Thanks for the reply. I know how busy ye be, a'plunderin' on the high seas. heh I've been thrashing about in Acid Pro 7 and am finally coming to understand the following:

I can add an INPUT BUS to the mixer section, and then route the incoming mic signal (via its own input channel) to that INPUT BUS, rather than to Master.

If I adjust the volume via the INPUT BUS fader, I can indeed adjust the volume level being recorded. This takes place in software. I knew there was some way to make that work!

It's not perfect. Riding gain on the fader while recording causes audible stepping within the volume change (kind of sounds like "stut-tut-tut" over the course of the fader movement). But I don't care. At least now I can boost the signal coming in. Those Presonus preamps are pretty quiet all by themselves.

Not sure if recording through the INPUT BUS introduces latency delay, as I have yet to try this while overdubbing. I'll try that next. Thanks.

I agree re the need to go easy and avoid peaking - as I haven't calibrated DAW to Presonus yet. Not even sure HOW yet...

Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum, right?
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